SMART-RAIL at Research Seminar on Railway Policy

event TransportNET

At this seminar organized by TransportNET with the title ‘Rail Freight: The thwarted ambitions of EU’ several presentations were given by both private railway companies (DB Cargo, SNCF, CapTrain, SBB Cargo International) and universities (KIT, University of Antwerp, University of Lyon). The presentations focused on the situation of rail freight transport in Germany, France and Belgium. Important topics that were discussed after several presentations were:

  • Rail freight transport has an important and competitive position on the central European corridors 1, 2 and 3. This position should be further strengthened on these corridors. Outside these corridors, the position of rail freight is questionable and it is unclear whether and how to improve rail freight on these other corridors in Europe.
  • Introduction of international corridor management is a good idea. However, a problem is that this management only focuses on infrastructure and that the perspective of railway undertakings and shippers is missing completely.
  • In order keep up with innovations in other modes of transport, much more innovations are needed in rail freight transport. Especially digital solutions are necessary to provide information about the status of assets/equipment and to connect involved stakeholders that are dependent on each other concerning the rail freight performance.